Peace Corps Programs Responding to Hurricane

September 12, 2004

All Volunteers in Grenada and Jamaica Are Safe

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 12, 2004 – 3:30 p.m. (EST) The Peace Corps continues its efforts to ensure the safety of its volunteers serving in Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and the Eastern Caribbean, which includes the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Tropical storm warnings for the Dominican Republic and Haiti have been lifted.

"The Peace Corps is taking every precautionary measure to ensure the continued safety of the volunteers serving in the areas that have been impacted by Hurricane Ivan," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. "All volunteers serving in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti and Jamaica have been contacted and are unharmed following Hurricane Ivan's impacts on those islands."

As of this afternoon, the Peace Corps in Jamaica had been in contact with all of the volunteers serving on the island and all are safe. One of the volunteers is located at his work site at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management in Kingston, and is assisting the government of Jamaica with disaster response.

As of Friday, all 23 volunteers in Grenada had been contacted and are safe. All volunteers have food and water and will remain at their safe house locations until further notice.

The emergency operations center at the Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C., is fully operational. Peace Corps staff in Washington, D.C. are in constant communication with the staff in Grenada and Jamaica, the State Department, and both U.S. Embassies.

In preparation for possible crisis situations and natural disasters, each Peace Corps program has an Emergency Action Plan specific to that country and developed in cooperation with the Embassy and Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The plans are tested frequently and information is updated constantly. Volunteers are thoroughly trained in their role and responsibilities in the Emergency Action Plan. Posts are prepared for all emergencies.

If families have questions or concerns, they may contact the Peace Corps' Office of Special Services at 1-800-424-8580, extension 1470, or after hours at 202-638-2574. The Office of Special Services maintains a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week duty system.

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